SPECIAL REPORT: Top 9 weather events of 2017 - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

SPECIAL REPORT: Top 9 weather events of 2017

(Source: WTVM) (Source: WTVM)
COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) -

We've seen it all this year - from record-breaking tornado outbreaks to devastating hurricanes and an unusual southern December snowfall.

There were many weather stories from 2017, but meteorologist Elisabeth D’Amore managed to pick the top 9nine that impacted the Chattahoochee Valley.

Kicking off the new year, we tracked a strong line of storms through the Valley which dumped over four-and-a-half inches of rain in the Fountain City. This nearly doubled the old record set in 1936 and led to dangerous flash flooding along Veterans Parkway.

Just a few weeks later, the state of Georgia saw its largest winter season tornado outbreak ever. Over a two-day period, a powerful low-pressure system produced 41 tornadoes in Georgia and 17 in Alabama. 

We saw a total of 15 tornadoes in the valley that wreaked havoc in cities like Cataula, Auburn and Smiths Station. Eight of those 15 were in Lee County.

On February 7, Lee County saw another system bring wind gusts estimated at 60-70 mph causing structural damage in a number of spots with an EF-1 touching down in Harris County.

The fourth event on the list is an unusual late-season cold snap on March 15. Below freezing temperatures caused millions of dollars of crop loss.

Local farmer Jonathan Hudson lost nearly 100 percent of his blueberries and 70 percent of his peaches which led to higher prices and limited stock at the grocery store.

During the first week of April, we saw 11 tornadoes during severe weather on April 3 and April 5. Among them was an EF-1 in Columbus and this EF-1 caught on camera near Ellaville, GA. Thunderstorms went on to produce damaging winds and half-dollar-sized hail.

On April 27, an EF-2 with peak winds at 120 mph tore through Talbot County snapping hundreds of trees and staying on the ground for over 20 miles. Two weaker tornadoes later touched down in Barbour County near Clayton, AL.

Hurricane Harvey takes the seventh spot. Harvey made landfall as a category four hurricane near Rockport, TX dumping feet of water leading to one of the worst weather disasters in U.S. History. 

Several Texas oil refineries had to shut down which led to the Chattahoochee Valley’s largest gas spike in two years.

In early September, and on the heels of Harvey, hurricane Irma came barreling through the Atlantic making landfall as another category four hurricane on Cudjoe Key, FL. 

We had neighbors from Florida seek refugee in the Valley, but luckily as it got here it lost most of its tropical characteristics. However, we still had wind gusts from 30 to 60 miles per hour causing widespread damage and power outages that lasted for days.

Number nine would have to be the historic snowstorm that brought a foot of snow to some in AL and GA. The all-important freezing line stayed mostly northwest of the WTVM viewing area. 

2017 was a busy year and likely cemented itself into many of our lives with these impactful weather events.

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